About Janelle Durham, MSW, CD, ICCE, LCCE

Current Positions

Program Director, Program for Early Parent Support

Consultant, Great Starts program of Parent Trust for Washington Children

Co-Author, Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn

Education and Experience                      

I have a BA in Sociology from Brandeis University; my undergraduate thesis was on Creating Rituals for Childbearing Losses. I have a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Washington, with a specialization in Health Care. My early professional experience as a social worker was with clients facing chronic or terminal illnesses.

After my older daughter was born in 1993, I shifted my professional focus to birth and parenting as a volunteer with Seattle’s Program for Early Parent Support, leading support groups for new parents, and helping to develop PEPS Plus programs.

After my younger daughter was born in 1997, I took the Labor Support Doula course and the Postpartum Doula course at Seattle Midwifery School. I completed birth doula certification with the Pacific Association for Labor Support (PALS). I have attended births in hospitals, birth centers, and homes, with a very diverse set of clients, and a very diverse set of birth experiences.

I completed Childbirth Educator Training, sponsored by Seattle Midwifery School and Birth Education Northwest. I am certified with Great Starts, with the International Childbirth Educator’s Association, and with Lamaze International. I have completed training as a level 1 mentor with Birthing from Within, the Postpartum Educator Training with International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA), Childbirth Educator Training with Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA), Lactation Educator Program and the Basic Course for Lactation Specialists with Evergreen Perinatal Education, Lamaze Childbirth Educator Training with Passion for Birth, Promoting Maternal Mental Health during Pregnancy with N-Cast, and more.

I have attended national conferences for ICEA, Lamaze, DONA International, and the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services, and presented at Lamaze and DONA national conferences. I have attended lectures by many of the leaders in the childbirth field: Penny Simkin, Michel Odent, Henci Goer, Pam England, Robbie Davis-Floyd, Suzanne Arms, Marsden Wagner, Ina May Gaskin, Harvey Karp, Jean Sutton, and many more. I have published articles in the International Journal of Childbirth Education and International Doula.

As a Childbirth Educator, I have taught childbirth preparation, breastfeeding, and newborn care at Swedish Hospital, for Birth Education Northwest, and Great Starts. In the past 11 years, I have taught over 3500 students. In June 2004, I was hired as Director of Education for Childbirth Education Association of Seattle, now called Great Starts Birth & Family Education. I oversee the educational program there: we have about 25 instructors, teaching in 8 locations around Seattle, offering independent, unbiased childbirth preparation classes to almost 1000 families per year, plus infant CPR classes to 300 families, and specialty classes that serve another 300 per year.

I also teach our childbirth educator training: Teaching about Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn and can do private consulting with hospitals who are developing or updating their childbirth education programs.

I am a registered counselor, and am available for one-on-one counseling sessions.

My Life’s Work

I have always been fascinated by working with people who are experiencing major life transitions, and by seeing how people respond when they are faced with challenges that could overwhelm all their normal coping mechanisms. Some people are defeated by these challenges, some move through them in denial, refusing to acknowledge their effects anymore than is necessary for daily living. However, some people are positively transformed, converting the challenge into a catalyst for personal and spiritual growth.

People are most likely to experience this empowerment if they have: a community of supportive relationships, a core informed awareness of the challenges combined with a core belief in their ability to overcome those challenges, a sense of being informed of all of the options available, and the sense of having the ability to advocate for themselves to make the choices that are right for them.

Throughout all my work, my role is to help provide the information, support, and choices to help people grow through life changes.

The motto of ICEA, the International Childbirth Education Association, is “Freedom of Choice, Based on Knowledge of Alternatives.” My motivation with developing the materials for this website is to provide that knowledge of alternatives, and also encourage birthing moms, and anyone else in transition, to seek out the support they need, and the advocates they need to help them make their choices and move toward their goals.

Other interests

In 2001, I participated in Bastyr University’s professional certificate program in Spirituality, Health, and Medicine. I studied energy medicine: healing practices of many traditional cultures and modern techniques that focus on the power of laying-on-hands and using healing intentions to heal physical and emotional illnesses. Information about these techniques, and a chart summarizing scientific studies of the efficacy of this form of healing, can be found at http://energy.janelledurham.com

My contact information: You are welcome to email me with any questions or feedback. Send email to janelyntemp@hotmail.com